Seed - cooked. Ground into a powder, mixed with cereals and used in making cakes etc or used as a piñole. It is small and very fiddly to utilize[K]. The ground up seed can also be mixed with water and drunk as a refreshing beverage.The burnt green herb yields culinary ashes high in minerals and these are used by the Hopi Indians to enhance the colour of blue corn products. The ashes can be used like baking soda.
The leaves and stems were burnt by the Hopi Indians and the alkaline ash used to maintain the blue colour when cooking blue corn. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves and stems. The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a hair wash.The plant has fire-retardant properties and can be used for barrier plantings to control bush fires.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a very sandy compost in a frame. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring[K].Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November/December in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer[K].
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A very ornamental plant, though it is liable to succumb to winter wet when grown on heavy or rich soils. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Occasional monoecious plants are found.Individual plants can change sex. The change is more generally from female to male and is apparently associated with stress such as cold or drought. It would appear that the change confers a survival advantage on the plant.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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